Chicago based choreographer Julia Rhoads has a new show inspired by The Pirate’s Dilemma. The show, Punk Yankees, focuses on how sampling and fair use questions apply to the world of dance. As Rhoads tells it:
“I had the good fortune of receiving a choreographic fellowship from the Maggie Alessee National Center for Choreography (MANCC) to support the research and initial development of Punk Yankees, which is the title of our anniversary concert. While at MANCC, I began working with the ensemble to address my research questions: What defines “fair use” in dance? Is it permissible to “borrow” choreographic devices if the movement is reinvented? If the dancers can’t execute the movement in the way it was originally intended, is there something interesting about that failure? If someone “stylistically” references a choreographer, should it be acknowledged as a derivative work, or is it what naturally occurs through dance education and lineage? Ultimately what we created was a work-in-progress that experimented with meta-theatrical devices and formal conventions to elucidate these provocative questions with transparency and humor.
“The title Punk Yankees came from some research I was doing online about piracy and art. Matt Mason, author of the book The Pirate’s Dilemma, talks about the fact that piracy and appropriation (in the sense of intellectual property) has historically been linked to the creation of new markets, which he calls a form of “punk” capitalism. He also traces the word “Yankee” to an old Dutch slang word “Janke,” meaning pirate. Ironically, Matt Mason was recently a keynote speaker at Dance/USA’s Annual Conference in Houston, TX (June 3-6), in the session “Fair Use and Piracy: How They Each Support a Sustainable Dance Field.”
Thanks for the reminder Cory!